An uplifting reassurance that sound Christian faith can be patiently molded.

MIRACLES FROM THE FINGERTIPS OF GOD

THE POTTER

An examination of Christianity that features a pottery theme.

In this slim nonfiction work, Romero takes the millennia-old analogy comparing Christianity with pottery and expands on it through personal and faith-based avenues. The analogy extends all the way back to the book of Jeremiah. Throughout his own work, the author returns regularly to the concept of believers shaping and being shaped as their faith grows and develops. This idea feeds naturally into the comparison of God to a potter: an artist who has firmly in mind the lovely shape of a piece of work even though the finished product isn’t even remotely guessable from the raw materials. Romero naturally links this to the process of faith and salvation. “Only by faith and through the blood of Jesus can we grow into our full potential, into salvation,” he writes. “He builds His purpose into us to contain and demonstrate His image and talented glory.” In the course of his volume, the author shares black-and-white photographs of his own pottery in order to illustrate the various applications of his analogy: the raw clay, the work in progress, the broken piece that’s waiting to be lovingly restored. Along the way, the technical details of pottery are woven seamlessly with Romero’s observations about the nature of the Christian faith. “As the potter’s hands cannot work with the clay without water,” he writes at one point, “in the same manner, God cannot work on us directly without Jesus, the bearer of His grace and mercy.” The author wisely keeps his book’s page count low and manageable—this analogy can only be stretched so far, after all—and although his own personal explications of Christian salvation are standard fare, they’re very effectively enlivened by the metaphor structure he’s chosen. His Christian readers will find this latest elaboration on Jeremiah’s pottery metaphor calming and thought-provoking whether or not they’ve ever seen a potter’s wheel.

An uplifting reassurance that sound Christian faith can be patiently molded.

Pub Date: April 13, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-973687-58-0

Page Count: 108

Publisher: Westbow Press

Review Posted Online: Oct. 5, 2020

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Fans will find comfort in Lawson’s dependably winning mix of shameless irreverence, wicked humor, and vulnerability.

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BROKEN (IN THE BEST POSSIBLE WAY)

The Bloggess is back to survey the hazards and hilarity of imperfection.

Lawson is a wanderer. Whether on her award-winning blog or in the pages of her bestselling books, she reliably takes readers to places they weren’t even aware they wanted to go—e.g., shopping for dog condoms or witnessing what appears to be a satanic ritual. Longtime fans of the author’s prose know that the destinations really aren’t the point; it’s the laugh-out-loud, tears-streaming-down-your-face journeys that make her writing so irresistible. This book is another solid collection of humorous musings on everyday life, or at least the life of a self-described “super introvert” who has a fantastic imagination and dozens of chosen spirit animals. While Furiously Happy centered on the idea of making good mental health days exceptionally good, her latest celebrates the notion that being broken is beautiful—or at least nothing to be ashamed of. “I have managed to fuck shit up in shockingly impressive ways and still be considered a fairly acceptable person,” writes Lawson, who has made something of an art form out of awkward confessionals. For example, she chronicles a mix-up at the post office that left her with a “big ol’ sack filled with a dozen small squishy penises [with] smiley faces painted on them.” It’s not all laughs, though, as the author addresses her ongoing battle with both physical and mental illness, including a trial of transcranial magnetic stimulation, a relatively new therapy for people who suffer from treatment-resistant depression. The author’s colloquial narrative style may not suit the linear-narrative crowd, but this isn’t for them. “What we really want,” she writes, “is to know we’re not alone in our terribleness….Human foibles are what make us us, and the art of mortification is what brings us all together.” The material is fresh, but the scaffolding is the same.

Fans will find comfort in Lawson’s dependably winning mix of shameless irreverence, wicked humor, and vulnerability.

Pub Date: April 6, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-250-07703-5

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: Jan. 27, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2021

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THE MYTH OF SISYPHUS

AND OTHER ESSAYS

This a book of earlier, philosophical essays concerned with the essential "absurdity" of life and the concept that- to overcome the strong tendency to suicide in every thoughtful man-one must accept life on its own terms with its values of revolt, liberty and passion. A dreary thesis- derived from and distorting the beliefs of the founders of existentialism, Jaspers, Heldegger and Kierkegaard, etc., the point of view seems peculiarly outmoded. It is based on the experience of war and the resistance, liberally laced with Andre Gide's excessive intellectualism. The younger existentialists such as Sartre and Camus, with their gift for the terse novel or intense drama, seem to have omitted from their philosophy all the deep religiosity which permeates the work of the great existentialist thinkers. This contributes to a basic lack of vitality in themselves, in these essays, and ten years after the war Camus seems unaware that the life force has healed old wounds... Largely for avant garde aesthetes and his special coterie.

Pub Date: Sept. 26, 1955

ISBN: 0679733736

Page Count: 228

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: Sept. 19, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1955

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